After their historic campaign last year, the Wildcats show no sign of slowing down. They have returned most of their title-winning team and also stacking the talent high with some eye-catching additions as they move ominously towards the possibility of becoming the newest WBBL powerhouse franchise as they ride into 2016-17.
Last season: It was a wonderful season for Nottingham last year as they celebrated their 40th anniversary with a first ever top flight title in style by beating closest rivals Team Northumbria on Tyneside. That came off the back of having won the Betty Codona Classic against Westfield Health Sheffield Hatters on the home court of their other major rivals. However, the season ended on a disappointing note when Northumbria gained revenge by coming back to beat Wildcats at The 02 in the 2016 Molten WBBL Play-Off Final.
Back again: The biggest plus was that Wildcats were able to keep 2015-16 Molten WBBL Team of the Year member Ashley Harris and the towering centre will continue to dominate in the paint and also kill opposing teams with her impressive shooting range. The main core of the team is back on board and led by captain Siobhan Prior who is the heart and soul of the team and club alongside her fellow Nottingham natives and team-mates Hannah Shaw and Jess Hurd. The reliable Lisa Greenaway is back as well, with rising stars Tea Charlton and Vicky Gray looking to continue their development.
— WBBL (@WBBLofficial) September 6, 2016
New faces: Croatian wing Kristina Benic has played for her country at EuroBasket Women Final Round and for club teams in some of the best leagues in Europe – as well as EuroCup Women. French guard Melisa Mendes will look to pick up the baton from her compatriot and the now departed Melissa Diawakana who was so influential last season. American Lauren Hebert also brings depth to the backcourt as the New Haven Chargers graduate embarks on her first pro-season. Meanwhile Vanessa Da Silva is a huge pick up in the paint after showing what she can do with Brixton Topcats in the first two seasons of the league.
Stat Attack: Siobhan Prior is the All-Time WBBL steals leader with 71 to her name, which is an impressive 12 more than Isabel Bueriberi who is in second spot.
Outlook: Wildcats will be co-favourites with Team Northumbria or even clear favourites to retain their precious maiden WBBL Championship title. With the monkey off their back in terms of having finally won a league title, they can move from strength to strength with what many will assess as the most talented and deepest rotation around. If they don’t win at least a couple of the five pieces of silverware on offer, it would be a surprise.
The club’s first game will be at the Betty Codona Classic this weekend. Click HERE for more details and for tickets.